These congresscritters are top recipients of contributions from the oil and gas sector — and some of its most vocal supporters, even in the face of a catastrophically unpopular oil leak. Might the Gulf-spill mess threaten their survival? Well, don’t bet on it …
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)
“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation [BP] can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown.”
— June 17, 2010
Barton has received more than $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry since 1989.
(Check out more choice words from Barton.)
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
“This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a natural phenomenon. Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it. During World War II there was over 10 million barrels of oil spilt from ships, and no natural catastrophe … We will lose some birds, we will lose some fixed sea life, but overall it will recover.”
— May 2010
Young has received more than $980,000 from the oil and gas industry since 1989.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
On oil spills: “I mean, just the gallons are so minuscule compared to the benefits of U.S. strength and security, the benefits of job creation and energy security.”
— April 2010
Landrieu has received more than $750,000 from the oil and gas industry since 1996.
Photo: d.jones photo via Flickr
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)
On continuing deepwater drilling in the U.S. after the BP oil spill: “I strongly disagree with those in Congress and in the administration who are calling for a drastic — and economically destructive — change in our energy policy in response to the oil spill … We should look at other energy resources that aren’t presently being utilized or are underemphasized in our energy portfolio. Our most valuable untapped resource is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It has even more potential than the Gulf of Mexico. This remote frozen tundra could be drilled with minimal impact on surrounding life.”
— June 4, 2010
Hutchison has received more than $2.1 million from the oil and gas industry since 1993.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
“[Obama] is still trying, in vain, to use the tragedy of the Gulf to have some kind of energy legislation … They’re thinking they can take that tragedy [and exploit it], and I can assure you they’re celebrating behind closed doors right now.”
— June 17, 2010
Inhofe has received more than $1.2 million from the oil and gas industry since 1989.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
“I think the part that Rep. Barton is expressing some concern about, that I share the concern, is that this has become a political issue for the president and he’s trying to deal with it by showing how tough he’s being against BP.”
— June 17, 2010
Cornyn has received more than $1.6 million from the oil and gas industry since 2002.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)
On the Obama administration’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling the Gulf: “By the same token, after every plane crash, you and I should both oppose plane travel. I don’t think that is rational.”
— May 30, 2010
Vitter has received more than $780,000 from the oil and gas industry since 1999.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)
On the court ruling that lifted Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling the Gulf: “I’m pleased that a federal judge in Louisiana had a little bit cooler head than the Obama administration.”
— June 22, 2010
Conaway has received more than $650,000 from the oil and gas industry since 2004.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
“I’m confident there will be bipartisan opposition to using the oil spill as a rationale or excuse for passing a national energy tax, which is completely and totally unrelated to an appropriate response to this environmental catastrophe.”
— June 10, 2010
McConnell has received more than $860,000 from the oil and gas industry since 1989.
Photo: Aaron Webb via Flickr
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
McCain hasn’t spoken out on the Gulf spill, but two years ago he had this to say: “As for offshore drilling, it’s safe enough these days. Not even hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston.”
— June 17, 2008
McCain has received more than $2.6 million from the oil and gas industry since 1989.